Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday launched a mobile laboratory that will conduct free RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 in Delhi. The results for these real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests will be available in six to eight hours.
The RT-PCR testing mobile laboratory, a joint initiative of the SpiceHealth and the government, came up after Amit Shah stepped in to fight the recent spurt in the number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi with close coordination of various wings of the Centre and the Delhi government.
According to reports, the cost of the test is Rs 499 and it will be borne by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The rate for an RT-PCR test in other laboratories was fixed at Rs 2,400 by a government-appointed committee and the report is normally available in 24-48 hours. In the first phase, 20 labs will be established with the capacity of processing 3,000 tests per day.
On November 20, the Union home ministry had said the capacity of daily RT-PCR tests in Delhi was increased to 37,200. A total of 30,735 RT-PCR tests were conducted in Delhi on November 19 and the number of such tests carried out on November 15 was just 12,055, the home ministry had said.
The spurt in the number of coronavirus cases in Delhi was witnessed since October 28, when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time. It crossed the 8,000-mark on November 10.
Delhi recorded 4,454 fresh COVID-19 cases and a positivity rate of 11.94 percent on Monday, while 121 more fatalities pushed the death toll due to the disease to 8,512 in the city. This was the sixth time in 12 days that the daily number of deaths crossed the 100-mark in the national capital. Authorities reported 121 deaths due to COVID-19 on Sunday, 111 on Saturday, 118 on Friday, 131 on November 18, the highest till date, and 104 on November 12.
The active cases tally on Monday stood at 37,329 as compared to 40,212 on Sunday. The total number of cases has climbed to 5,34,317 of which 4,88,476 have recovered.
(Inputs from Agencies)